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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "If you take care, walk with your head down...[and] act like you're old and tired, then...you become invisible."
Neapolitan author Maurizio de Giovanni's novels have always been original and intensely realized, with occasional, much-welcomed flashes of humor. His quirky, well-drawn characters elicit the reader's emotions, and his powerfully vivid settings add atmosphere and depth to the dark, noir plots. In this newest novel, de Giovanni has created yet another brilliantly realized...
Published 12 months ago by Mary Whipple

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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Pretentious Rubbish
I have to state from the outset that I was extremely disappointed in this book. I was really looking forward to a well-written and interesting tale instead of which it seemed to me to be a muddled account which I found difficult to follow. The characters were not very interesting and I felt that this writer had rather let the Italian novelists down with this offering...
Published 8 months ago by Maddy


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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "If you take care, walk with your head down...[and] act like you're old and tired, then...you become invisible.", 4 July 2013
By 
Mary Whipple (New England) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Crocodile (Paperback)
Neapolitan author Maurizio de Giovanni's novels have always been original and intensely realized, with occasional, much-welcomed flashes of humor. His quirky, well-drawn characters elicit the reader's emotions, and his powerfully vivid settings add atmosphere and depth to the dark, noir plots. In this newest novel, de Giovanni has created yet another brilliantly realized protagonist, Inspector Giuseppe Lojacono - lonely, wounded by life, and sympathetic. Lojacono, from Sicily, is fully familiar with the workings of organized crime there, and he has recently become a victim of its machinations. When a low level crook in Sicily identified the innocent Lojacono as an informant for organized crime, Lojacono became an instant pariah in the police department. With no evidence against him, however, there could no trial and therefore, no clearing of his name.

Sicily shipped him off the island to Naples, where, for the past ten months, Lojacono has been playing card games on the computer, prohibited from working on cases. Everything changes when the first of several murders occurs. While the rest of the department is looking for the usual connections to organized crime, Lojacono, alone among the department, begins to look elsewhere for the mysterious killer. The killer himself, meanwhile, is revealing his inner thoughts to the reader through his emotional messages to an invalid whom he loves. He travels through Naples, going anywhere he wants to go, but remains as invisible as a crocodile lurking beneath the surface of the water.

The old man's first murder, the shooting death of a sixteen-year-old boy, is shocking in its unexpected and cold-blooded violence. Immediately afterward, the killer saunters off, unnoticed. The young boy was the much-loved son of a single mother, and though the boy has sold a handful of bags of drugs to other teenagers, he is not really a bad kid, just a teenager "doing a few favors" for someone else. A new head of investigation, a woman from Cagliari, Sardinia, shares Lojacono's wider view of the crime, and before long, Lojacono is providing information to her. Subsequent murders include an innocent fourteen-year-old girl, the daughter of a wealthy woman from upscale Posillipo; and later, a student whose father has been devoted to helping his son achieve success. With three deaths so close to the beginning of the novel, the reader feels drained by the horrors. All are teenagers whom any parent would be proud of, and when the killer lets the reader know that his next victim will be the youngest one yet, the novel becomes as dark as a noir novel can ever get.

The Crocodile broadens its scope as it broadens its characters, describing them and showing them in separate, seemingly unconnected chapters in the beginning, presenting their points of view, and providing unusually full characterizations. The teenage characters act like real teenagers, the adult characters reveal their often troubled backgrounds and histories, and the interminable quarrels within the department show male attitudes toward women and outsiders. The author succeeds in making this as much of a character novel as it is a novel of dark and violent crime. Ultimately, readers who are already familiar with Maurizio de Giovanni's work will be thrilled to see the author branching out and taking new chances, even as they thrill with the information that his fourth book of the year (part of his Commissario Ricciardi series) will be released this fall.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars EXCELLENT, 25 Nov 2013
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This review is from: The Crocodile (Kindle Edition)
Very good detective novel, I would recommend it, the ending had me on the edge of my seat, I look forward to reading more from De Giovanni.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars AGENUINE PAGETURNER., 20 Aug 2013
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This review is from: The Crocodile (Kindle Edition)
A superb thriller.Very well written A sense of mounting horror made this unputdownable Give24 hours of your time.You will not regret it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simple but very good, 16 Aug 2013
This review is from: The Crocodile (Kindle Edition)
This is a simple story. It's about revenge. But the prose is good and the characters are strong. I definitely Will recommend this book to other crime buffs. Can't wait to read his other books. Unfortunately only one other book has been translated into english.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This thriller is very formal and the puzzle unwinds in a very orderly way. But it is very moving and interesting., 5 Aug 2013
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This review is from: The Crocodile (Kindle Edition)
I very much admire the way this book was written with its lack of hysteria and over emotion. It is rather dry and calculated but full of restrained emotion. The end is as it should be.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Virtually flawless mystery/lit writing, 22 Feb 2014
By 
Blue in Washington "Barry Ballow" (Washington, DC United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Crocodile (Paperback)
In an era when Scandinavian mystery/crime writers have been the focus of readers' admiration comes Italian Maurizio de Giovanni (and a few compatriots), with some really marvelous writing, pushing the genre up into the literature category, without sacrifice of dynamic storyline, police procedural or strong ending.

De Giovanni has recently made a name for himself with the terrific Commissario Ricciardi series set in 1931 Naples. By contrast, "The Crocodile" takes place in contemporary times (still in Naples) and with a different protagonist. Police work and storyline are strongly affected by electronic communication and rapid research. At the same time, the major strength of book remains the very colorful and human characters that the author has crafted. This is something that distinguishes his Ricciardi series as well.

"The Crocodile" is the fairly straightforward--if quite dark--tale of a serial killer at work. The local cops follow the default (for Naples) theory that it's the Neapolitan mafia disciplining its members and/or customers. Inspector Giuseppe Lojacono, an administrative exile from Sicily, is inadvertently dragged into the investigation and rejects the mafia theory, suggesting something more sinister and personal. He convinces the lead investigator that the rising number of victims are connected through their families, and the rest of the story becomes a race to stop further check-offs of the anticipated victim list.

For me, this was mystery writing at its highest level. Great characters, spare but rich and intelligent language and appropriate ending. Di Giovanni is a writer to be cherished and encouraged. Highly recommended.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent plot line, 2 July 2014
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This review is from: The Crocodile (Kindle Edition)
Excellent plot line. The use of a jaded and under suspicion police officer makes it interesting. Hopefully there will be other plots with him at the helm.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Really engrossing and a great read, 23 Jun 2014
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This review is from: The Crocodile (Paperback)
This book takes you directly into the charaqcters minds (and hearts). Very good thriller, great procedural leavened with sufficient black humour and great descriptions of a fascintating city. Strongly reccomended.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Love Maurizio de Giovanni, 15 May 2014
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This review is from: The Crocodile (Paperback)
I love his books and they are hard to find but Amaon stock them so pleased.
The story well keep you on the edge of your seat he spin's a wonderfull story the way he explains the people and Naples.
Excellent can't wait for his next book
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4.0 out of 5 stars Good pageturner. Somewhat superficial., 6 May 2014
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J. W. Mokken "Wiebe" (Amsterdam, The Netherlands) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Crocodile (Paperback)
The book definitely does what a thriller needs to do: I finished it in one session. The plot is well construed and even though the ending does not come as a surprise you close the book thinking: "That was a good read." However, after a few hours you begin to see the minor problems: you feel as if the book has been written like a screen play, like the first episode of a TV-series. The author has started many things that he does not finish. The characters have been sketched, not fully painted. You start asking yourself questions: how about....?
I would not be surprised if this is actually the case; that this is the start of a new series and that it wili indeed end up on TV. And that is fine, I will happily learn more about the people in this book.
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The Crocodile
The Crocodile by Maurizio de Giovanni (Paperback - 6 Jun 2013)
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